Thursday, 19 July 2012

I have just added a fantastic site to my links, one that I should have added ages ago, but it somehow slipped my mind. With my enthusiasm for waders this is an interesting site, and what I like best about it is it makes us all scientists in a small way, adding to the knowledge of the worlds waders by the simple act of recording our sightings.

If you don't already I would encourage you to enter your sightings there, especially if you can get to a good wader spot regularly. These tiny and amzing birds are in real trouble around the world and any help we can give to those trying to protect them should be gladly given. Sadly I live nowhere near any waders for now, but I will add the few I see around here. Soon enough I hope to move to a better location for these birds, but until then...

Here's the link I just love those little cartoon waders, they are just brilliant.
Dunlin copyright

I made a lot of entries when I was in Brazil mostly because no-one else was; I think there were few in that area who even bothered to look at waders.

Interest in them was scant, they were too difficult to identify, so they didn't bother much with them. If you look at WikiAves you will easily come across waders that have been misidentified (at least when I was a user there were lots). I tried many times to assist with identification, but no-one it seemed was prepared to take the word of a Gringo. 'He isn't even Brazilian, what can he know about our birds.' seemed to be the attitude.

Admittedly some did grudgingly change their identifications, but most refused.

A well known local birder had the first record of Grey Plover for the municipality on WikiAves for months despite my protestations that it was in fact an American Golden Plover. It was eventually changed when my mate, the senior curator at the natural history museum joined in my protestations.

I once saw that an Upland Sandpiper that had been misidentified as a Pectoral Sandpiper. Granted the view was not perfect, being from the back. Helpfully I pointed this out in private to the photographer who chose to ignore my comment.

This guy was a newcomer to the game and was under the wing of my nemesis in Ubatuba, who was obviously advising him incompetently as usual. After a short time another photograph appeared in the Pectoral Sandpiper section by the same photographer.
          'In the first photo I posted the bird had its back to the camera. So that there are no lingering doubts about the species take a look at this slightly better photo, taken at the same time and probably of the same individual.'
          Well sure enough this was a Pectoral Sandpiper, but it was clearly not the same bird. The first bird had an long barred tail with heavily notched tertials and a median crown stripe and was clearly an Upland Sandpiper, the other had plain unmarked tertials and was plainly a Pectoral Sandpiper.

Seemingly the idea was that everyone would say 'Oh! That's a Pectoral Sandpiper for sure' and make me look silly. However it seems I had the last laugh as I notice now that I have had a quick look that the identity has been corrected. Here are links to the two photos concerned.
Pectoral Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper
Don't take my word for it, see for yourself. I note that the bit about his earlier picture is still present on the comments of the Pectoral Sandpiper (in Portuguese of course).

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